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Bill Gates Gives ALEC Big $$$ to “Reform Education”

Bill Gates Gives ALEC Big $$$ to “Reform Education”
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ALEC, the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit that is probably trying, if it has not already, to influence your state legislature by providing “model bills” of a distinctly anti-immigration, anti-union and anti-federal health-care reform sort, is also seeking to make inroads on education reform. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given ALEC $376,635 in grant money with these goals:

“to educate and engage its membership on more efficient state budget approaches to drive greater student outcomes, as well as educate them on beneficial ways to recruit, retain, evaluate and compensate effective teaching based upon merit and achievement.:

ALEC is the American Legislative Exchange Council and its membership is a select group of a not exactly educational sort. ALEC counts over 2,000 mostly Republican lawmakers among its membership as well as some 300 corporations including BP, Amazon, Walmart, Visa, eBay and the like. The funds from the Gates Foundation are to go to teaching ALEC’s members about, as noted above, “more efficient state budget approaches to drive greater student outcomes.” Considering that ALEC’s activities are directed at getting bills representing its interests introduced into state legislatures, one should wonder what sort of “efficiency” ALEC-initiated reforms would lead to.

Also, it’s notable that ALEC now-Gates Foundation-funded goals talk about “teaching” rather than “teachers,” i.e., human being who are actually in a classroom teaching students. With their mention of “student outcomes” and basing compensation for “effective teaching” on “merit and achievement” specifically, ALEC’s goals are using language associated with calls for privatizing education, via “innovations” such as charter schools and online education.

Crooks and Liars sees the Gates Foundation’s grant to ALEC as a telling example of how “Mr. Gates and his fellow trustees fully embrace the notion of killing public education one state at a time.” Describing how profitable a business online learning companies are turning out to be — and how high the cost is to public education — Lee Fang in The Nation describes a talk that lobbyist Patricia Levesque gave to philanthropists at a conference in part sponsored by the Gates Foundation.

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10:12AM PST on Feb 21, 2012

Of course it is more efficient to expel all the worst students so they will be out of the school system and the problem of the criminal justice system instead.

4:40AM PST on Feb 21, 2012

Innovations like "online education". This is from somebody like Gates who said that the Internet was "a fad". And he's still pursuing Microsoft's agenda of locking users into Microsoft products by requiring that web students use Microsoft Internet Explorer with Windows-specific little software programs called "ActiveX applets". People who can't use Windows would be locked out.

4:31AM PST on Feb 21, 2012

Use Linux to give a multinational monopolist like Microsoft (and Bill Gates) a run for their money.

4:22AM PST on Feb 21, 2012

Funny how when something gets privatized to be cost-effective, it ends up costing more...

4:18AM PST on Feb 21, 2012

Even though Gates retired from Microsoft, he's still tied to it in some function. Use open source software like Linux, to lower the cost of education.

6:53AM PST on Dec 21, 2011

One more proof that hi-tech people lack knowledge in the areas of moral values and social issues. People in the so-called 'exact' and technological sciences should be also more educated in the 'humanities' and 'social sciences' because from what I have seen, they usually do not understand much, if at all, in these fields of knowledge and, as a consequence, suffer from a lack of social and democratic consciousness. Such a waste.

12:07PM PST on Dec 11, 2011

Those with the most money have all the power.

8:07AM PST on Dec 11, 2011

Oh no. This is terrible news.

12:50PM PST on Dec 8, 2011

Oh Bill and Melinda say it isn't so

7:52AM PST on Dec 7, 2011

Has Gates gone mad? This is truely disappointing news.

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